UPDATE April 20, 2018: I’m currently working on a recipe for easy coconut cream icing. Stay tuned!
Woohoo! It is done! I present to you the easiest – but as close to authentic as you’re gonna get – Ube cake/cupcake recipe you’re ever going to make! It’s been about a year since I posted my first Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing recipe experiment (here). Ever since then, I’ve wanted to develop the cake recipe closer to what Filipinos are accustomed to eating. It’s the Holidays soon and this recipe is my gift to you. Enjoy and savor the luscious, velvety, rich purple cake that is delicately iced with rich sugared coconut cream. Yum right? Yes, Happy Holidays to you too!
I consulted my best friend Christine, cake expert extraordinaire, on baking techniques and she was more than happy to help. Our Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing Recipe Development Project a.k.a. Sleepover! a.k.a. Girl Talk a.k.a. let’s talk more about the anime Yuri on Ice! was all set. All I had to do was pack up the ingredients and my overnight bag and I was so there.
It’s worth mentioning that our cake recipe experiment meet up almost didn’t happen. Christine accidentally cut herself a few hours before I was to arrive and had to go to the emergency room. The accident happened while she was chopping onions for Katsudon/Japanese Pork Cutlets that she was preparing for our dinner. Insert Yuri on Ice! anime fan girl info. It’s one of the character’s favorite dishes so it makes perfect sense that we’ll be chatting about YOI while eating Katsudon right?
Anyway, Christine was insistent that we go through with our plan. By the end of the day, this superwoman not only helped to develop the recipe for Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing, she also finished cooking the Katsudon for dinner as well as Fried Cream Cheese and Crab Stuffed Wontons to share with her neighbors. Did I also mention she is a mother of three awesome kids? Kitchen hero! I want to be her when I grow up.
My first version of Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing recipe only needed five ingredients. Three for the cake, two for the icing. However, the mild flavor wasn’t as close to the Filipino Ube cakes as I had hoped. The rehydrated purple yam was also difficult to prepare since it requires constant stirring for more than 30 minutes. The second version (recipe below) makes use of the next best option which is Purple Yam Spread/Ube Jam/Ube Halaya. It is also easily available in Filipino or Asian grocery stores. “Halaya” is Purple Yam or Ube that’s cooked down with water and sugar to a thick paste consistency.
Now let’s talk about the use of violet icing coloring and Ube/Yam extract. The food coloring is optional but it won’t look like Filipino Ube cake. The Ube extract, we found out, is necessary. The flavor makes the cake taste irresistible and we couldn’t stop eating the cupcakes! Ube extract is usually available in Filipino grocery stores. I purchased mine from FilStop.com since Tindahan, the only Filipino store in my small city didn’t have Ube extract.
An ingredient that is also found in an authentic Ube cake is “Macapuno”. A type of coconut that has a “soft-jelly like flesh”. (Wikipedia). The sweet jelly strips are usually layered in the Ube Cake and sometimes used as a topping. It is easy to add this ingredient to the recipe I’m featuring in this post. However, I opted to add the coconut flavor that’s always paired in authentic Ube cake by combining it in an icing instead of using Macapuno. I must say that coconut cream mixed with confectioner’s sugar is delicious. The combination adds another flavor that makes the Ube cupcakes insatiably crave-worthy. The use of Dream Whip is optional. We used it since we wanted an icing with a thicker consistency.
Ube cake is a memorable staple for anyone who grew up in the Philippines or for anyone who has close ties to Filipino Food. It is a cake that is centered around parties be it birthdays, graduations, Christmas, and New Year’s. In summary, developing recipes is always fun but sometimes challenging. I learned so much from Christine as she gave me valuable baking tips on how to recreate a recipe for Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing that’s even better than my first version. In true fashion, Ube cake is once again a part of my life that’s worth remembering. Sadly, my dear childhood friend is planning to relocate to the West Coast in a few months which makes this recipe development project, aka girl time, unforgettable.
Here are other ideas for Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing Recipe:
And if you really want it as cake instead of cupcakes bake for longer then glaze once cake has cooled…